The Nobel Peace Prize winner, Belarusian human rights defender Ales Bialyatsky, was transferred to solitary confinement – the AP news agency reported, citing his wife Natalla Pinchuk.
Natalia Punczuk – who confirmed the information about her husband’s transfer to solitary confinement – emphasized that “basically, it is a prison within a prison.” She noted that the prison authorities did not allow a lawyer Ales Bialiacki meet him after being transferred to solitary confinement.
Bialiatsky, 61, was imprisoned in a penal colony from 2011 to 2014. In March this year, he was sentenced by a court in Minsk to 10 years in a maximum security labor camp. In the political trial, the authorities initially accused activists of the Viasna Human Rights Center, which Bialyatsky heads, of “failure to pay taxes.” Then the charges were changed to “contraband” and “financing protests.”
Byalyatsky is serving his sentence in a penal colony in the eastern city of Horki Belarus. – Horki prison has a terrible reputation as a conveyor belt for tormenting political prisoners. The Belarusian authorities continue brutal repression, showing that they can detain anyone in conditions amounting to torture, regardless of the Nobel Prize, Pinchuk told AP.
In turn, Wiasna representative Paweł Sapiełka told AP that transferring Bialiatsky to a solitary confinement may involve limiting walks, meals and the delivery of food parcels. – This means a significant tightening of the terms of serving the sentence – he noted.
Byalyatsky founded the Viasna Human Rights Center in 1996. The organization was banned by Alexander Lukashenko’s regime in 2003, but it never stopped its activities.
According to information from the Viasna center banned by the regime in Minsk, there are currently political prisoners in virtually all colonies in Belarus, and there are from several to over a hundred such convicts in various prisons.
After elections On August 9, 2020, Belarusian journalists faced an unprecedented scale of repression in Belarus. It resulted in the closure of a number of portals or the termination of publications in some media.
Main photo source: Wiktor Dąbkowski/PAP